The Meaning Of Faith

DSCF3594Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

– Hebrews 11: 1

When we have the opportunity to talk with a spiritually seeking person, faith and self-confidence are sometimes part of the conversation. How can we be confident in what we do not see? How can we gently minister to a person with a fragile self-confidence?

What is the connection between self-confidence and faith?

Faith is much deeper, and it must be deep enough to subsist when we are weak, when we are sick, when our self-confidence is gone, when our self-respect is gone.”
– Thomas Merton

Faith is the foundation of our self-confidence.

I pray for us to share our faith foundation as we continue our walk of faith.


Take Away Day

DSCF4058The challenge was to write and deliver a memorable presentation within the time allowed. The day before the retreat, I still didn’t have a theme. I thought about past retreats and prayed for guidance. Soon I knew what kind of day it was going to be!

A take away day! I encouraged the participants to write down the key points of my presentation. The points I wanted them to take home and remember long after the conference was over.

A take away day can also describe how we view and remember a scripture.

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

– Psalm 118: 24

I love the take away from this verse! There have been many days on my walk of faith when I was neither rejoicing or glad. Days when I totally lost sight of how the day had been made.

I pray for God to guide us to those who are in need of this message. As each day unfolds, allow us to rejoice…to be glad…and to be so thankful for being able to discover and share God’s loving grace.

Uncomfortable Trust

DSCF3119Part of my presentation for the Florida Inspirational Writers Retreat was to share the beginning of my writing journey. Long before my blog and books, I was guided to write a monthly message. I mailed the messages on fine ivory linen paper with a matching envelope. It was wonderful to hear from people as they let me know how much they appreciated the message and the format.

One month, after composing what I thought was a wonderful message, I received in prayer: write about your uncomfortable trust. What? Uncomfortable trust? Me?

As I talked with God about this direction I was able to understand. My uncomfortable trust was related to an issue I had turned over to God. Rather than being content with God’s will and resolution of this issue, I was filled with doubt and displeasure. God was not resolving the issue the way I wanted!

Ah, uncomfortable trust! Back to the drawing board for that monthly message!

But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown about and tossed by the wind.”

– James 1: 6

This was the verse included in my message. I really love the visual image of doubt being like a wave of the sea. I was able to visualize the waves and wind becoming calm.


Love And Be Loved

IMG_1244What a wonderful title for this post! When Yvette shared yesterday’s post on social media, part of her comment was: Love and be loved. Thank you , Yvette! Thank you to everyone who shared my post yesterday!

When we witness in a gentle way, love is the foundation for our conversations. After I walked away from church, it seemed like God loved me less and less as the years went by. Now I see that time from a very different perspective…God loved me more and more as the years went by.

Love and be loved. What a wonderful message !

Discover and share this message today!

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

– 1 Corinthians 13: 13

So Obvious This Need

DSCF2821_edited-1As I have grown in my faith, God guides me to expand my voice in a direction I never would have imagined.

This blog post includes a request. Please share this post with your pastor, minister or priest.  Please share this post with your family and friends and ask them to do the same.

When I talked with God about writing an uplifting post about depression, I immediately started to laugh! How is that even possible, God? And if I do write it, how can I reach the people I want to touch? As God often does for me, His answer was very simple: write about the obvious.

God, that is really a challenge for me!

Depression is not obvious. Ah, the challenge! From family, friends and care providers, depression can be kept hidden for many years. Until. Until something. Until somethings happens. The smiling confident exterior begins to crack which is our opportunity for gentle intervention. Intervention before an individual decides life is not worth living.

Depression can over time, feel normal. At first read, that thought does not make sense. How could depression ever feel normal?

Draw a thin line down the center of a page. One side is where depression begins and worsens. Gradually, as one spend more time in that space, depression continues to grow. The more time on that side of the page, the more unhealthy thoughts seem normal:

I am not worthy. I am not loved. My life has no meaning. I am a failure. I don’t want to face another day.

I have had all of those thoughts when I live in the space on that side of the page.

Gentle intervention from our pastors…from our ministers…from our priests…from us. On our walk of faith we will meet people suffering from depression. We have the opportunity to listen to their journey and be a source of God’s love, light and hope. We have the opportunity to encourage and walk with them toward medical and spiritual care.

My prayer is to ask God to help me raise awareness. My prayer is for this blog post to reach hundreds or thousands of people in the pulpit to be guided to talk openly with their church family about this issue. My prayer is when this happens, lives will be saved.

I started this post with a question: How is it possible to write an uplifting post about depression?

By sharing God’s message of love, grace and healing, the internal messages I shared above can be changed. Imagine the difference and joy  in the life of a person who can say:

I am worthy! I am loved! My life has meaning! I am successful! I can’t wait for tomorrow!

And therein lies the truth. We can’t wait for tomorrow to share this message!

Once again, I would like to thank you…for being here and for seeing the urgency of sharing this message. Many voices may just reach those in need, just in time.



Purpose Of Prayer

IMG_2036In the book of Matthew, Jesus teaches about prayer. So often, I seem to be in speed-prayer mode. I seem to have other things on my mind and am not completely focused. Other times, I seem to be on auto-prayer…reciting without really slowing down.

Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

– Matthew 6: 8

If God knows in advance what I need, why pray?


What does God want from us if our needs are known in advance?


My prayer for us today is to talk with God about relationship rather than what we need or want. Let us talk with God about the unknown mystery of faith.


Skipping Spiritual Meds

DSCF3321-1While in the emergency room last year, it was obvious my plan of stopping my medication wasn’t the most brilliant of my many ideas. It wasn’t the cause of me being there (another story for another blog) but when everyone saw my blood pressure, it was game over. Thankfully, not life over.

I have heard it is somewhat common for people to stop taking prescribed medication when feeling better. I tapered off another medication last month but did have the sense to keep my doc informed. In a very short time, I was back on the prescribed track.

What about our spiritual medication?

I can imagine telling Pastor Craig about my spiritual self diagnosis abilities! “Hey , Pastor Craig…just letting you know I’m feeling pretty good so I’ve decided to stop attending church…giving up praying…and no longer reading my Bible! Thanks for everything!”

On the surface, it doesn’t make much sense and actually sounds funny when I read it. Yet, I have done exactly that (without telling my pastor first). I have talked with people who have slowly wandered away from a sound spiritual prescription. Not because of a negative experience but because things were going well.

That live streaming church service is certainly convenient! The Bible ap on my iPad is certainly convenient! The praise and worship music I have saved is great! But you know…it just isn’t the same.

We have a wonderful spiritual physician who gives us helpful and heart-full prescriptions. We just need to remember when we are doing well, it is a perfect time to be with Him!

There are times when I like to remind myself of this Steven Wright quote: “If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.”